For a report form please click here.

When writing a description

  • Be happy your identification is 100% correct.
  • Be sure to describe date, time and place. Describe circumstances of the finding briefly and the habitat where found.
  • Give experience of the species or similar species.
  • Describe optical aids used and if photographed.
  • Most of all be certain that you describe the BIRD.

Indeed the majority of your description should be about the bird.

  • Be sure to estimate size by comparing it with common species. Compare it with similar species and discuss reasons for eliminating them.
  • Ensure you describe plumage, bill, feet, eye, and leg colours if seen. Describe motion and movement.
  • Describe general behaviour.
  • Mention any other observers present who saw the bird
  • Be convincing in your text.

Description forms for all categories of rarity will be available for download on the website. All rarity descriptions should in the first case be sent to the County Recorder. The County Recorder will ensure that all observers are aware of the decisions of the various committees.

After all this remember it is just as necessary to record common species before they too get on the rarity lists.

When describing a species:

  • First determine what family of birds it represents.
  • If a wader try to see its wing pattern in flight – does it have wing bars or a white rump? Listen for a call.
  • If a duck is it dabbling or diving? Again check details in flight.
  • If a passerine does it walk, run, hop or sometimes more than one of these.
  • Listen for calls – look for features in flight. Compare with other common species nearby.

 

Describing a bird - From Bill Oddie's Little Black Bird Book